The Smart Farming team examined soil fertility, energy use, grassland management, water use, feed, inputs, waste, time, and machinery management on Hatton’s farm and identified savings of €7,682
Grassland – €5,160 saving
Develop annual reseeding plan for the farm.
Where weather permits – costs can be reduced by targeting a stock turn out date of early February.
For better utilisation of grass – reduce size of paddocks and rotate livestock more frequently.
Bring forage harvest date forward to late May to increase bale quality.
Feed – €0 saving
Ensure annual analysis of silage takes place.
Change from nut to coarse ration and increase price checking.
Soil fertility – €1,730 saving
Most soils are index 1 and index 2. Index 3 is optimum.
Lime deficiency on the farm is reducing grass growth.
Spread 16 tonnes of lime in 2017 and 2018.
5 Year programme of additional phosphorus (P) proposed. Use of organic P proposed.
Energy – €380 saving
Machinery – €27 saving
An allowance should be made to replace older machinery with more efficient ones.
Time management – €385 saving
Consider contracting out tasks during busy periods
Water – Minimum Saving
Inputs & waste – €0 savings identified
Wilting silage reduces effluent.
Increase DM in silage and reduce concentrate feeding in spring.
Total Savings – €7,862
Reducing the climate impact by 6%
During the Smart Farming Cost Saving Study, a carbon reduction strategy for the Hatton’s farm was developed using the Carbon Navigator decision support tool developed by Teagasc and Bord Bia.
Potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 6% was identified. Many of the measures, such as nitrogen efficiency and slurry spreading timing will also lead to other positive environmental outcomes and reduce risks to water quality. Take a closer look at the Carbon Navigator results.